Saint Martin’s Church

Grafmonument - George Minne

Visit Saint Martin’s Church in the idyllic landscape along the river Leie and get carried away by George Minne’s bronze tombstone, a symbol of maternal love.

Saint Martin’s Church

Saint Martin’s Church is located east of the village square near the river Leie. Several well-known artists were laid to rest in the cemetery, including Albijn Van den Abeele (1835-1918) and George Minne (1866-1941). The church itself predates 1121 and was probably built between 1000 and 1100. It was severely damaged during the Iconoclasm in the 16th century. In 1771-1772, the building was expanded. A thorough renovation was carried out at the end of the 19th century, resulting in its present form as a neo-Gothic hall church. In 1989 the entire church was painted white. Several notable works of art and cultural objects to be found here include the 15th-century oak service altar, the 18th-century pulpit and confessional in Rococo style by Jacobus Martens, Gustave Van de Woestyne's Our Lady Bestows the Rosary, Albert Servaes' Ecce homo (1919) and Harold Van de Perre's stained glass windows (1978-1980 and 1993). And there’s more to experience! Saint Martin’s Church is part of the European Route Saint-Martin de Tours, which runs from Utrecht through Flanders to Tours.

Mother and Child tombstone , George Minne

George Minne died at the age of 74 on 18 February 1941. He was buried in the cemetery of Saint Martin's Church. His grave is enhanced by the monumental Mother and Child, a recurring theme in the oeuvre of this symbolist sculptor. Minne had a penchant for ascetic boys, pietas and mourning mothers and depicted human suffering as a mysterious fusion of emotion and serenity. His bronze tombstone shows the unconditional maternal love reflected in the embrace of a child. The emphasis is on the mother's large hands and the small body in her arms - an image imbued with sympathy and tenderness.

 

Grafmonument - George Minne
Grafmonument - George Minne

Our Lady bestows the Rosary to Saint Dominic, Gustave Van de Woestyne

In 1900 Gustave Van de Woestyne (1881 - 1947) left Ghent for Sint-Martens-Latem, a rural village on the river Leie. Being a symbolist who admired the Flemish and Italian primitives, he initiated the first Sint-Martens-Latem group together with George Minne and Valerius De Saedeleer. Later he also joined the modernist movements of his time, including expressionism, cubism and neorealism. He completed the painting Our Lady bestows the Rosary to Saint Dominic in May 1905, just before joining the monastery in Leuven. It was a parting gift to his parish church, depicting Mary and Dominic at the centre of the image. Dominic founded the Dominican order in 1215. The Dominicans promoted the use of the rosary among the order. This early work is clearly influenced by the Italian primitives. It is a static composition with Mary at its heart. The serene facial expressions, dark colours and gold accents are particularly striking. The decorative elements also attract attention, such as Mary’s intricately decorated cloak and the shadows in Dominic's robe. Also note the vibrant little tree in full bloom.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw schenkt de rozenkrans aan de Heilige Dominicus - Gustave Van de Woestyne

Practical information

Address

Dorp
9830 Sint-Martens-Latem
Belgium
View directions

Opening hours

  •  Open every day from 09.00 to 18.00 hrs.

Accessibility

  •  Easy access for people with disabilities.

Good to know

  • Admission: free

Other sites nearby

Sint-Michielskerk Gent (interieur)
The Gothic church exhibits a remarkable unity of style, which is also reflected in the interior. It is a haven of peace within the city centre of Ghent.